Easter used to be one of my favorite holidays, second only to Halloween and Christmas. I got to pig out on candy, spend time with my family, play games, and accuse my sister of cheating. What more could you ask for out of a single day? The only problem is, like all holidays, it tends to stir up drama.
The most important thing about a holiday is the family tradition. Every night before Easter, my mom, sister, and I dye the eggs and try to make the coolest patterns. Most of them turn out maroon, but it’s still fun. The next morning, we wake up with Easter baskets outside our doors. When we were younger, they were those giant ones you see at supermarkets with stuffed animals that cost $30 and weigh the same as a small child. Now, they are filled with eucalyptus leaves and random candies. My mom always gives Georgia the peanut ones and jellybeans while I get all the chocolate, and we both get an equal share of Ferrero Rocher, which are the most amazing things in the world. Then we have a very competitive egg hunt and I always lose. I still claim she cheats, but after sixteen years, nobody really listens anymore. Then my uncle’s family comes over and we have a second egg hunt for my cousin, who everyone helps out because she’s so young. Later, we have dinner, throw the ball around, and half of us fall asleep while the rest watch TV.
The least traditional Easter I ever had, my mom was sick, so my aunt and uncle took my sister and me to City Walk. We had lunch at the Hard Rock Café, made fun of tourists, bowled, and wasted probably thirty minutes debating whether we should do the flying-in-a-tube thing, and spent probably two hours in that massage store. Those water massagers are agonizingly painful, but later, I felt so much better! When we couldn’t walk anymore and my uncle got tired of carrying my cousin and the five stuffed animals she insisted on bringing, we went back home, had a half-hearted egg hunt, and went our separate ways. Then my mom and I had a movie marathon where I saw the last half of the Matrix. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be that weird, but even though it freaked me out, I kind of loved it.
My favorite Easter was 2012. My sister and father were touring colleges, so they weren’t there, but my aunt, uncle, and cousin came over. We dyed eggs together, went out to lunch, then had a rather violent egg hunt. My cousin, who was six at the time, kept on stealing eggs out of my basket and whenever I was about to grab one, she would scream “I saw it first!” and body-slam me into a hedge (she was a big six-year-old.) We divided our spoils because I hate jellybeans and she likes them more than chocolate, which is my Achilles heel. Then we roasted marshmallows with my crème brûlée torch. My uncle kept on making references to Ester, who he claimed was the pagan goddess of Easter and “cursing” people with her wrath. Then, we watched some Disney movies for a couple of hours and both he and my aunt fell asleep on the couch. It may not sound like much fun, but it was perfect.
When I tell other people about my family’s Easters, especially about the last one, I get a lot of weird looks and even some “well, I hope your next one turns out better.” I thoroughly enjoy my Easters and when I hear about my friends’ big family gatherings where everyone is wearing pastel and they eat ham while a judgmental Jesus stares at them from the mantel, I pity them. I hate ham. The point is that even though my family doesn’t fit in with the classic ideas of Easter, our traditions make us the special, strange, weird family that we are and I wouldn’t trade our holidays for anything.